The signage for your business is one of your most important forms of advertising. It says a lot about your business and tells people who you are, what you do and what sort of customers you are looking to attract, so it is important that you take good care of it. Winter can pose some interesting challenges on that front, as the weather changes can take their toll on your signs in huge ways.
From moisture to cold, wind to snow, the winter weather provides some challenges for your signs that you will need to stay on top of. So, what can you do to protect your signage during the winter months?
We can all feel the drop in temperature at the moment that tells us that winter is well on its way. By the time spring comes around, lots of changes will have taken place around us, and some of them might be seen on your signage. To prevent you having to replace or repair your signs, there are some steps you can take to stop Mother Nature and Jack Frost damaging them as the cold fronts roll in.
You might not think that the weather will pose many threats to your signage, but the conditions can have a surprising effect. Whilst we are not subject to many weather extremes in the UK, the changes that the British winter weather can bring are still enough to affect how your signs look and work.
During sign installation, it is important to consider the weather conditions to ensure they are properly secured. Extreme weather such as high winds or heavy rain or snow can pose a risk, so it may be necessary to reschedule the installation for a more suitable time.
Snow is one of the most obvious culprits for damage during winter, largely thanks to the weight of it. As the snow builds up on top of your signs, it can start to put joins under pressure and can lead to cracks and breakages. Once the sun comes out and that same snow starts to melt, your sign is suddenly subject to a lot of water which can attack paintwork or materials and get inside electric signs.
Ice and frost are not your friends either as they can damage the surface of the signs, leading to them becoming scratched. Low temperatures are particularly hazardous as it can cause materials such as plastic or wood to crack when they are subjected to this.
The moisture from rain can seep into the sign and cause damage internally. Unprotected metal can rust, and the quality of an image can be damaged. The moisture created by other weather conditions, such as fog, can also play a part in this.
The banner style of sign is one of the most popular as they are very versatile and inexpensive, but they can struggle to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Their size and flexibility means that they are particularly vulnerable to wind, leading to them blowing away if they are not properly secured, or even ripping.
You should consider using steel cables to tie your banner down, and try to install it tightly against a flat, solid surface to prevent wind exposure. It can be mounted with grommets and pulled as tightly as possible to try and stop the wind from getting behind it.
Sometimes bungee cords can be more effective for hanging the banners instead of traditional ropes, as this allows for a little more stretch when the wind blows. It is important that you check all of your connections regularly, as they can loosen over time.
Metal panel signs
Metal signs are seen as the most durable available, but even they can fall victim to the weathers. Choosing the right material is imperative, and it is worth remembering that aluminium and stainless-steel are the most weatherproof. Other metals might be more susceptible to rusting and corrosions and will need a regular coating of sealant to protect it.
It is important to ensure that all panels of the sign are fully welded together to prevent anything getting between them and rust appearing inside.
Electronic signs can be very effective in winters as they can be much easier to see, especially when it is dark or when the rain or snow is pouring down. However, they do not like the wet weather as this can play havoc with their electrical components.
When you first install a digital sign you should ensure that it is suitable for outdoor usage and has been designed to protect it as best as possible from the weather. This might include weather resistant enclosures and seals as well as heating systems, insulation and rust-resistant materials. You will need to make sure that you check your signs regularly, looking at the seals and any gaps which might let water in.
You also need to check that the sign is securely mounted so that it will not be carried off by the wind or weighed down by snow.
Wooden signs are not as common as they used to be, partly because they struggle to resist the weather. When wood gets wet, it swells, and this can lead to warping or cracking which is almost impossible to repair. If you do have one outside your business, then make sure it is sealed with something water repellent. By attaching plastic or metal caps to the edges you can prevent moisture getting inside, as well as protecting it from flying debris in the wind.
It is possible that you will see a few spots of rot, mould or mildew appearing on your signs, and you should act quickly if you do. Remove them as soon as they appear to stop them spreading or growing and pay special attention after periods of heavy snowfall or rain.
Your signs are very important to your business, so you need to make sure that you look after them. Investing in high-quality signage can give them a much longer lifespan, no matter what the weather throws at them. Your signs are just another part of your business that needs some tender loving care, so look after them, and they will look after you too.
Malcolm Judson is the Managing Director at Judsons Signs, specialists in sign making for vehicles, schools and commercial and retail spaces. Judsons Signs manage the entire sign making process, from design and manufacturing to installation.